Making dinner for your whole family every night can be a tiring and thankless task. Luckily, there are several easy dinner recipes for families—which not only cuts down on prep time but also enables everyone to make new memories together. From kabobs to chicken nuggets, we’ve compiled a list of easy dinner ideas that the whole family can work on—kids and teens included! They all require assembly, common kitchen supplies and an all-hands-on-deck approach, which makes them the perfect group activity.
Kabobs are a great option since you can create an assembly line to ensure everyone gets in on the meal prep. Have people pick which task they want to focus on, from dicing up meat and vegetables to putting them on skewers. Whether you’re hankering for chicken sausage links, chicken, sweet peppers, or mushrooms, there’s a plethora of ingredients you can use to make these versatile treats. If you have a grill, you can assign someone to be the grill master—but if you want to make things a bit easier, you can broil them in the oven. Make sure you have plenty of skewers on hand before starting the task. Serve the kabobs alongside rice or a salad and fresh fruit for a delicious meal.
Have the entire family get in on the fun by making personalized pizzas. Start by setting out some pizza dough (or English muffins, if you prefer), sauce, cheese, and a variety of toppings in separate bowls. After having everyone create their own special versions, bake the pizzas on a pizza stone or baking sheet. It’s an easy, versatile choice that’s sure to satisfy the entire clan.
Spice up the week by instituting a reoccurring Taco Tuesday celebration. The possibilities are endless: You can use tortillas or hard shell tacos for the base, choose between ground beef, chicken, or shredded pork for the protein and top with everything from chopped red onions to cheese. If you’re trying to be a bit healthier, you can substitute the meat for black beans, sweet potatoes, or avocado (and don’t forget to swap out common kitchen utensils for eco-friendly alternatives to help you live a healthier lifestyle). Place the tacos in a taco holder for easy access and serve alongside salsa and chips or Mexican rice and refried beans.
If your kids miss ordering fast food chicken nuggets on their way home from school or extracurricular classes, teach them how to make their own versions at home. Have one person dice up chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Another person combines flour or crushed cornflakes with the seasonings of your choice. Have a third person combine some milk and an egg in another bowl. Then create an assembly line where you dip the chicken into the milk and egg mixture. Add that into the flour or cornflake mixture. Have another person be in charge of frying the nuggets in a cast iron skillet (or baking them, for a healthier option).
Make your entire family feel like they’ve been transported to their favorite Chinese restaurant for the night by whipping up a batch of homemade egg rolls. Have one person fry up the filling (such as sausage and cabbage), have another person spoon the filling into egg roll wrappers and have a third person roll up the egg rolls. Someone else can then be in charge of frying or baking the egg rolls. Serve with sweet and sour sauce for a tasty change of pace from your regular mealtime routine.
By following these easy weeknight dinners for family, you can answer the question “What’s for dinner?” once and for all—and get your whole family in on the fun.
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Rebekah Bell is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.